Day 4 aboard the Allure of the Seas can be described as a day of firsts for me. It was my first visit to the new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica, and my first visit to the Good Hope Plantation. MrsMJonTravel and I booked a tour through Royal Caribbean called Good Hope on Your Own. We were provided transportation to and from the plantation, but allowed to tour at our own pace.
Our tour began at 11am, so we had a bit of leisure time in the morning so we had a light breakfast in the concierge lounge before heading ashore. There was a bit of a crowd getting off the ship, something we had not experienced the previous day in Labadee. I’m not certain what the issue was though I expect many more people had tours booked which departed at approximately the same time as opposed to just being able to stroll to the beach on your own time in Labadee. Nonetheless, we were off the ship soon enough. The port area in Falmouth has improved markedly over initial reports. Frankly, I was impressed with the construction of the shopping areas and expect that Falmouth very well could become a desirable stop. This was an impression that was even further developed as the day went on and we enjoyed our tour.
We arrived at the Good Hope welcome center in 20 to 30 minutes and were greeted by tour staff. Those that had guided tours were handled, and those of us like MrsMJonTravel and me were handed our maps and sent on our way. The plantation was quite beautiful, as you will see in my photos below. An added benefit of the self-guided walking tour was that it allowed us to get a good workout in for the day as some of the hills were enough to make you break a sweat! 🙂
After a few hours of touring we headed back to the welcome center for some refreshments (translation = Red Stripe Beer) before catching the bus back to the ship.
We had some time to stroll around the pier area, and check out the shopping. I was quite pleased with the pier area as I had heard many complaints on some of the cruising related internet boards that the port of Falmouth did not measure up. There is still ongoing construction to be sure, but I found the area nicely done, and staffed with helpful people who seemed to care that we were enjoying ourselves. MrsMJonTravel was also successful in getting a new band and battery for her Phillip Stein watch at the Phillip Stein store. I enjoyed another Red Stripe while we waited.
After returning to the ship we enjoyed a late lunch of Tappas at Vintages, which was phenomenal!
We capped our evening off with a delicious meal at the ship’s signature restaurant, 150 Central Park. 150 CP is meant to be a dining experience and it was. We enjoyed a 6 course meal culminating with the most wonderful venison of tasted. ($40 dollar per person seating fee)
One item of note. Our original itinerary called for spending Thursday at sea and arriving in Cozumel, Mexico, on Friday. Captain Zini announced on Wednesday that we would be unable to make Cozumel due to Hurricane Rita. So we will be spending Thursday at sea and calling on Nassau, Bahamas, Friday morning. Other than that, no wrinkles in what has been a wonderful cruise experience! And on Thursday, I get to tour the bridge! No, I’m not excited at all. HA!